Manchester United battle rivals for Italian goalkeeper starlet

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Representatives of Manchester United and Manchester City have been casting an eye over Italian goalkeeping sensation Francesco Bardi 'every week', according to reports from Italy.

Bardi plays for Inter Milan but is currently on loan at Livorno, where he has played every minute of every Serie A game so far.

Tipped for bright things in the future, the 21-year-old is being watched by both Manchester United and Manchester City - something confirmed by Livorno President Aldo Spinelli.

He told TuttoSport: “Bardi reminds me of a young Buffon, he has enormous potential. Every week he is being watched by scouts from the two Manchester sides & other clubs.

“I just hope that [Inter goalkeeper] Samir Handanovic continues to do well at Inter so they decide to let Bardi stay here with us!”

Manchester City appear in more pressing need of a goalkeeper than rivals Manchester United, who can call upon David de Gea as their number one.

Regular number one Joe Hart was recently dropped for a string of poor performances by Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, with young shotstopper Costel Pantilimon taking his place.

Manchester United backup 'keeper Anders Lindegaard has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford in the past, meaning boss David Moyes may be eyeing Bardi as a long-term replacement.

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